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What Authors don’t tell you about publishing by Esther Ojetunde

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The word publishing is a household name in writing. Every writer at one point in time wants to publish a world selling books, books that would bring them out there and open to them a world of opportunities.  

Every great author we see and read their works all started as a newbie. I know being a newbie means you are confused about things, too many platforms, and training out there. There is no problem with having those things at your disposal rather there is the issue of having too much. It starts to seem like you are not investing too much in your skill. I understand and have been in that position before and still am(there are so many new things to learn every day). Just calm down, take a deep breath and relax. All these problems would be solved as you go through this article. I can assure you that at the end of this article, you should be able to publish your first book. 

Definition of Publishing 

First, we need to put those technical words out of the way. So what is Publishing? 

According to Wikipedia, “Publishing is the act of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free”. 

Types of publishing 

Trade book Publishers. 

From the word trade, you should know it has to do with buying and selling. According to the manuscript newsletter, “A trade presspublishes books that are mostly intended to be sold through retail channels like bookstores (including online bookstores)”. 

Book packagers and book developers. 

This is a type of publishing in which all the people involved in the course of the book, the writers, editors, researchers, and graphics designers are outsourced. It is then given for publishing. 

“Bargain”book publishers. 

This is when a publisher prints more books than he sold and then sells them off at a discounted price. This prevents total loss on the side of the publisher. 

Textbook Publishers and Academic Publishers. 

These are publishers for academic works. They publish research and textbooks for school use examples are Macmillian, Pearson, etc. 

Professional Publishers. 

These are publishers for professionals like Accountant, Doctors, Pharmacist, Architect, etc.”These professional publishers create books and databases for professionals who need access to reliable, widely accepted information and standards.”(culled from liveablet.com) 

Self-Publishing services. 

This involves you publishing your book yourself without any publishing firm. 

Hybrid Publishers. 

Problems writers encounter in the course of writing a book. 

Cost of publishing. 

  1. Getting a good writing coach.
  2. Getting a good publisher.
  3. Getting a good editor.
  4. Getting a good graphics designer.
  5. Writer’s block.
  6. Advertising and marketing.

Cost of Publishing 

Publishing a good book does not come cheap. A whole lot is involved; from a writing coach to the editor and graphics designer. You spend money to outsource people that would do an excellent job but this is not to scare you can take it a step at a time. 

Getting a good writing coach. 

There are coaches and there are coaches. In this age of social media, too many people both authentic and fake, are all on social media with good pictures and numbers of followers. Do not be fooled by all this, take your time and follow your instincts. You might think I don’t need a coach, well it is not a do-or-die affair but it definitely would help to relieve you of stress. It makes all you are doing less cumbersome as you don’t need to be bothered about what to do next. They sometimes have connections with good editors and graphic designers. 

Getting a good editor 

Good editing makes your book easy to read without bumps. It helps to eliminate the error of bad grammar, and sentence arrangement, and index it well. It makes it look orderly. Nobody will want to pick up or buy a book with grammatical errors. We all saw the case of that ex-BBN housemate that misspell the name “Chadwick Bossman”at a national event. It might look like a simple mistake to you, but to others, since they don’t know you they judge you based on it. 

Getting a good graphics designer. 

Get a good book cover and mock-up design that screams pick me. Let the packaging of the book make people anxious to see what is on the inside. 

Writer’s block 

So many people in the creative space go through this at one point or the other. This is why you should not choke yourself with deadlines or anything that would trigger it. 

Advertising and marketing. 

As much as publishing a book thing is a good thing, make sure you have an audience that is ready to receive it. As a newbie, it does not have to be thousands of people but make sure you have a target audience. 

Solutions 

Read a whole lot both on the topic matter and styles of writing. 

A good writer is first of all a good reader. Read books by people that have written on them, you can google for books or even check them out on Amazon.Amazon is a market for books, you can check out reviews on each topic, and note their mistakes and strengths. This does not mean you would plagiarize, it just means you get more exposure on this because truth is said there is nothing you want to write about that has not been written before.  

You can also look out for their patterns and styles of writing. 

Join a community of writers and always ask questions. 

The importance of community cannot be overemphasized. Join pages or groups on social media where people get to share their experiences on things. For example, monoline is a community for young writers. They also organize retreats and Twitter spaces from time to time, where you get to meet intelligent writers and interact with them. In those interactions, ask questions. There is only so much a person can know, what you don’t know today you can learn about it tomorrow.  

Be close to your source of inspiration. 

Foreigners sometimes travel to have a feeling of a place they want to write about. If you have the money you can travel to have a first-hand experience of things. For example, you cannot write about poverty if you have not been to a place and seen what people suffering from this go through. It would not be in-depth. Social media also offers you opportunities to do that. Doing all this will take you away from writer’s block because there are more than enough things to talk about. 

Get a comfortable writing space. 

Get a comfortable space for writing where you easily get inspired and there are no distractions. 

Be consistent. 

Consistency would always beat talent. It is therefore important that you set up plans, charts, and reminders that keep you consistent. 

Give it your all; as you would want to create something that would enliven you. 

Your book is something that would always be there even when you are dead. Books by authors like Myles Munroe and Williams Shakespeare are still being read today after their deaths. Thrive to create something that would stand the test of time. 

Advice  

You don’t have to be the best writer to write. 

Take all the time you want. Do not set unrealistic deadlines for yourself and be flexible. 

Start with all you have, you never get to a time that you have all you want. It is just a thief of time. 

Be determined. 

Surround yourself with people that would encourage you. Get people that would hype you. They would help you go, if you don’t have that create a reward system for yourself. 

In conclusion, becoming an author is not a walk in the park, of course, nothing good comes easy. Be ready to put in the work and just know that you can do it. Just do it afraid, you don’t need to have so much confidence and resources but the little you have, we can work with that. I would be waiting for you to publish that book. I am rooting for you! 

 

About the Writer

I am Ojetunde Esther. I am a writer and also a student at the University of Lagos. I am passionate about finance and personal improvement in general. To read more on this you can follow me on Facebook @Ojetunde Esther. I am sure it would be worth your while.

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